Dominique Moceanu will not compete

I question why Dominique wants to compete at USA Championships 2006.

In any case, she has been disallowed.

Moceanu denied entry into nationals

The reaction from, her official website:

For those that are confused about me being blocked from the U.S. Nationals and my appeal being rejected by USAG, the bottom line is that I simply wanted to be given a chance to compete.

Never did the Women’s Athlete Selection Committee convey to me or my coach, Michael Canales, that the scores at the US Classic competition had any bearing on qualifying to the Nationals. My coach and I had been notified that two specific criteria needed to be achieved to enable me to compete at Nationals.

1. Attend a National Team Training Camp at my own expense. (ACCOMPLISHED)

2. Compete at the U.S. Classic on at least one event (competed on two events). (ACCOMPLISHED)

I completed both of these criteria.

I was not seeking any special favors — I just requested what I believe I rightfully earned — a chance to compete fairly at Nationals.

video – gymnastics relay game

Rick McCharles

I love gymnastics games. In fact, I have an unpublished book of gymnastics games based on the work of Keith Russell and Gene Schembri. One day I hope to do a video website resource database of great games.

Here’s one led by Dave Adlard.

Click PLAY on the video below or watch the clip on

Funtastics Gymnastics in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

gymnastics – “environmental coaching”

Shaping Skills with Drills

For lack of a better term, I’ll call it “environmental coaching” — ssetting up the equipment so the gymnast is required to do the drill in a specific way.

For example, have contests to see if kids can do drills with a foam sponge between their feet or knees.

Christchurch School of Gymnastics

Other popular examples include tumbling beside vertical mats for alignment. (e.g. Cartwheel facing the mat.) Or through a tunnel of mats.

I love to set up vault contests where kids need to land up on to a “table” of mats. Or over a stack of mats. Instantly the run improves and you are a great sprint coach.

video – Double Flair in BMX Big Trick

Congratulations on Kevin Robinson’s Double Flair in BMX Big Trick (double back with 1/2 twist out) at X Games 12.

CLICK PLAY on the video below or watch it on YouTube.

KRob was almost beat by his buddy Chad Kagy’s Flat Tail Whip. Kagy left happy though — he won the BMX Vert competition as 9 time defending champion Dave Mirra was out with an injury.

More press is going to Travis Pastrana for his double back on a motorcycle:

Pastrana Gives It the Once Over, Twice

His Mom cried all afternoon knowing her son might attempt it. And she was right. It’s a mistake to allow acrobatics to be done on motor vehicles. It’s simple too dangerous. Pastrana could just as easily been killed.

I blame the X Games for scheduling moto X best-trick. It should be cancelled.

The Paul Hamm fiasco – 2004 Olympics

The disaster wrought by the Men’s Gymnastics judges in Athens will never be forgotten. Sports Illustrated lists the lost gold all-around medal of Yang Tae Young of Korea one of the top 10 North American Olympic follies. – Writers – Brian Cazeneuve: Olympics’ embarrassing moments

Once the error was discovered, the controversy was bungled by the MTC, FIG president Bruno Grandi and the US Olympic Committee — but not, I feel, by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

I wish Paul had unofficially, voluntarily handed over the gold medal to Yang Tae Young despite the final ruling of the Court. That would have been the stand-up thing to do. Hamm would be a hero instead of an Olympic folly.

Perhaps it’s not too late.


Yang Tae Young

International Gymnast – FIG: Yang Is “True Winner” – U.S. Olympic Committee blasts FIG

video – the wrong way to spot Yurchenko

Coaches were talking one night about most embarrassing moments in the gym.

Needless to say, a few of those involved spotting straddle back to handstand on bars by standing directly behind the low bar. (That spotting technique was never any good!)

Next day actor / coach Cliff Parks spotted young kids for Yurchenko — by standing directly in front of the beatboard.

Click PLAY on the video below or watch the clip on

For Cliff this was just for fun. But kids at gym camp had a great thrill going over the horse for the first time.

spotting belts for divers

Dick Kimball, the 1964 U.S. Olympic Diving Coach, posted a .PDF article on use of spotting rigs for divers. Kimball likes them, especially for age group and developing divers.

Better, I think, is for diving coaches to consult with expert trampoline coaches who use progression instead of belts. I would only use a belt if I had problems with the progressions.

Coaching gymnasts I avoid belts if possible, except for very few specific gymnastics drills.


They can, however, be a great novelty for recreation gymnasts. I like using a spotting rig for carrying beginners through backward handspring, for example.